Italy has just lost another ballet company, that of Verona, which had been whittled down to twenty members over the last few years. A couple of decades ago, when Carla Fracci headed the company, it presented the classical repertory.
Now a similar fate is looming over the heads of the dancers of the excellent Bordeaux National Ballet, who are taking the matter into their own hands and trying to change the winds of destiny.
If you would like to help their very worthy cause, follow this link to change.org where you can quickly sign the petition.
Dear Audience, Artists and everyone concerned,
At a time when the Ballet Director has been suspended of his function, at a time when the ‘National' title that defines the quantity of dancers that is necessary for a National Ballet company to insure the Classical Repertoire is renegotiated. The Bordeaux National Ballet needs your support.
This petition aimed to alert about the troubling situation of the permanent Artists of the Ballet of the National Opera of Bordeaux, France.
Today they are the victims of radical decisions taken by their General Management and elected representatives of the City:
– Lowering subsidies
– Reduction of the workforce of Permanent Artists
These choices clearly jeopardize the classical repertoire of our ballet.
Indeed, this would mark the end of the big classical productions of this great institution; Bordeaux is one of the few still alive in France, from which it earned its notoriety.
Could you imagine Odette floating alone in her “Swan Lake” …?
This would amount to offering a diminished and mutilated repertoire to the spectator, who would still always have pay the same price for their ticket.
The Ballet de l'Opéra National de Bordeaux offers a wide repertoire ranging from classical ballets to the most contemporary. This decision would bring a considerable blow to classical ballet already very thin in France and would further jeopardise the status of the Artists.
Choreographic diversity is necessary for our country and our culture.
Please do not deprive us of this wealth!
Moreover, this is also for the next generations of dancers emerging from the world renowned schools and conservatoires, which will be threatened and deprived of jobs at the end of their extremely difficult vocation.
Louis XIV was at the origin of what is today the art of ballet, the french opera houses and their companies are looked at and taken as examples throughout the world.
Let us be reminded the Grand Theatre de Bordeaux is among the very first in a remarkable architectural environment.
BY SIGNING AND SHARING THIS PETITION, YOU SUPPORT THESE ARTISTS, THEIR BUSINESS, DANCE AND ART, WHOM MUST CONTINUE TO SHINE, EDUCATE, AND MAKE YOU DREAM.
As long as we talk about them, the Ballet de l'Opera National de Bordeaux and classical dance will continue to live on.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.
I have always felt that the arts is the universal language of the world and makes up a huge part of the life blood of society. When we lose any venue of the arts, we lose some of that life blood therefore making society anemic .
When I was about 15, I used to go to a tiny arts centre in Somerset near Glastonbury; it was very cheap and the people were really lovely. I made fantastic friends there with all sorts of people and age groups; I learned enameling. The Dove Centre lives on in our memories and has had get togethers over the years. It gave far more than it took. I doubt I could ever feel such a sense of gratitude and affection for say, a computer club.
I meant to agree with every word you wrote Peter!
Delphine Greenaway I always enjoy reading your posts- I’ve been following politics in the last few months because of the travesty of a trump election. It is always a big breeze of fresh air when I read posts like yours and read the insightful articles of ‘gramilano’ and Maria Haars( spelling) – the arts- particularly ballet – is my ‘medicine ‘ to continue to enjoy life, though volunteer work , running and ballet exercises also help!
How nice Peter! We are living in politically dark times. I exercise, dance and generally try to not waste time on being miserable or frightened by current events. Ballet, music, the simple pleasure of walking through London, the joy of seeing the turn of the seasons… all these things will outlive the sound and fury of the Trumpettes; good is all around us but we have to keep embracing it. Life is a Long Song, as some old hippy used to say…
er, I should just clarify that I don’t always succeed in avoiding an increasing sense of fear!
Signed and shared also!!
Delphine Greenaway I agree about the fear: rather than cower in the negativity, I use it to move forward and work on and enjoy all the good things life has to offer.
Peter Alexander Exactly! I’m giggling as the old song just came into my mind “Nothing’s impossible I have found……. so dust yourself off, pick yourself up and start all over again!” Have agreat weekend!
Signed and Shared. I do sometimes wonder why politicians make arbitrary decisions based on the eroneous idea that citizens and visitors go to visit destinations in order to watch paint dry. They don’t seem to see we go to view art, performance, culture and the life of a city revealing its talents and achievements. Poor planning by the local government.